April 28, 2014

Zips Athletics Hosts Annual Student-Athlete Banquet, "The Zippys"

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2013-14 All-Sport Highlight Video

AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron Department of Athletics held its annual Student-Athlete Celebration Banquet, coined "The Zippys", to honor the achievements of the department's 400-plus student-athletes on Monday night in the ball room of the University's Student Union.

Student-athletes and coaches from UA's 19 intercollegiate sports teams along with athletics department staff, invited guests and dignitaries were on hand to celebrate a memorable year of achievements for the Zips.

Emceed by Willy Kollman, UA Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, the program included remarks by Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill, Student-Athlete Advisory Council President Whitney Graff (women's golf), as well as senior reflections from student-athletes Kacie Cassell (women's basketball) and Bjorn Johansson (track and field).

Student-athletes were honored for their hard work in their respective sports and in the classroom with a number of individual and team awards, including: the Jim Schonover Award (highest team grade-point average – women's golf for the 2013 spring semester and women's soccer for the 2013 fall semester); the Caroline J. Pardee Award (top female athlete – Hanna Luburgh, women's basketball); the James Horrigan Award (top male athlete – Shawn Barber, track and field); the Bob Linton Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year Awards (Reinaldo Brenes – men's soccer; Rachel Tecca – women's basketball); and the male and female Newcomer of the Year Awards (Shawn Barber – track and field; Annika Roloff – track and field).

The Zippy Cup for team community service went to the swimming and diving program, which accumulated more than 1,700 hours during the 2013-14 academic year.

In addition to honoring the student-athletes graduating in the spring and summer of 2014, the department also recognized Ariane Beaumont-Courteau (track and field) and Reinaldo Brenes (men's soccer) for earning the Mid-American Conference Medal of Excellence Award. The award is presented annually to one male and one female student-athlete at each MAC member institution who participated on the varsity level in a conference sponsored sport and shown evidence of academic success with a minimum GPA of a 3.5.